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Since 1995 The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society has produced The Word On The Street Vancouver, the primary literary festival for Western Canadian book lovers and literacy enthusiasts. In 2013 this festival rebranded as WORD Vancouver. The first festival was a one day event at the then newly built Vancouver Public Library and it featured 60 exhibitors and attracted 18,000 festival goers. Since then, the festival has expanded to three days and now attracts an average of 30,000 attendees to events taking place at Carnegie Community Centre, Historic Joy Kogawa House, and Library Square.
The main festival event takes place each year on Sunday, September 29, at the Vancouver Public Library. This year, heavy winds and rains forced exhibitors off the Library Square concourse and into the library itself, which was infinitely more dry (and just as aesthetically pleasing). We’re proud to report that Talonbooks authors figured prominently at the event; eight (wow!) of our authors came in from the rain on Sunday, drenched and soggy, but excited to read from new (and old) work.
Festival exhibitors relocated to the VPL’s beautiful interiors.
First up, Daniel Canty and Oana Avasilichioaei read from the new inventory-novel Wigrum in the library’s Blenz cafe, which, due to the extreme weather conditions, doubled as the Canada Writes tent (thanks, Blenz!).
Daniel Canty and Oana Avasilichioaei frame Wigrum at the 32 Books table.
Next, outside on the covered CUPE Stage, poet Stephen Collis braved the humidity and read from his poetry collections The Red Album and To The Barricades.
The CUPE tent. Note: bookish Vancouverites are always well prepared for rain.
Meanwhile, over in the Poetry Bus – an actual Translink bus, parked to showcase the latest Poetry in Transit campaign – readings took place throughout the day, including Mark Cochrane, Mariner Janes, and the charismatic and prolific bill bissett, who read from a variety of his works, including the latest hungree throat.
The Poetry Bus, courtesy of B.C. Translink.
bill bissett, surrounded by fans, following his transformative reading. “Let it be known that bill bissett rocked the poetry bus,” said one enthused audience member.
Also in the Poetry Bus was the official Poetry in Transit reading. We are pleased to report that three Talon Poets were selected for the annual provincial campaign: Dina Del Bucchia, Stephen Collis, and Wanda John-Kehewin will each have one poem appear in a Vancouver transit shelter this year!
Dina Del Bucchia reads from Coping with Emotions and Otters.
Stephen Collis reads from To the Barricades.
While Dina Del Bucchia, Stephen Collis, and Wanda John-Kehewin read their funny, touching, and emotionally and politically charged poems in the jam-packed bus, Jordan Abel performed poems from the Place of Scraps as host of the Poetry is Dead Magazine event on the third floor of the library. PiD editor and Talon poet Daniel Zomparelli was also in attendance, of course!
Photo of Jordan Abel courtesy of Steel Bananas Art Collective
Thankfully, our camera survived the moisture, and the inspiring, fun, and exciting atmosphere (generated by the hardworking Rebus Creative organizers) is alive in these photos. Diehard attendees and readers may even find themselves going through WORD withdrawal this week. Fortunately, we can all look forward to the Vancouver Art/Book Fair at the Vancouver Art Gallery this weekend (more information on the Art/Book Fair is available here) and the Vancouver Writers Fest later near the end of October.
From Oral to Written is a study of Native literature published in Canada between 1980 and 2010, a catalogue of amazing books that sparked the embers of a dormant voice. Leading Aboriginal author Tomson Highway surveys the first wave of Native writers published in Canada, highlighting the most gifted authors and the best stories they have told, offering non-Native readers access to reconciliation and understanding, and at the same time engendering among Native readers pride in a stellar body of work. On Meta-Talon, read a selection from Highway’s prologue.Thursday August 10, 2017 in Meta-Talon
August 12 is Buy a Quebec Book Day – and have we got books for you! Browse our list of 12 august and recently published Quebec books – any of which we would, of course, recommend. Read the list, and then get out to your local bookstore this Saturday and show la belle province some literary love!Friday June 23, 2017 in Meta-Talon
The Gorge: Selected Writing by Nancy Shaw launched in April, 2017 at the Western Front in Vancouver. To launch Shaw’s book, published posthumously, editor Catriona Strang read from The Gorge, and then this video was played to a rapt audience. In the video, you’ll hear the voice of Nancy Shaw, reading poems from her book Cold Trip (2006; co-authored with Catriona Strang).Tuesday April 18, 2017 in Meta-Talon
By R. Kolewe
Inspecting Nostalgia is a new collection of poetry by R. Kolewe. This, his second collection, brings together found text and fragments of various writers’ work with scraps from his own journals.
In this third week of National Poetry Month 2017, and in advance of Kolewe’s Toronto launch on May 8, please enjoy two poems from the collection on Meta-Talon.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.